What is a predator of a pukeko?

Answered by Stephen Mosley

Pukeko, also known as the purple swamphen, are fascinating birds that inhabit wetlands and marshes. They are quite unique in that they have few natural predators as adults. However, when it comes to their offspring, pukeko become fiercely protective and will fight vigorously to defend them.

One predator that poses a threat to juvenile pukeko is the swamp harrier. These birds of prey are known for targeting young pukeko, swooping down from the sky to snatch them up. It is during this vulnerable stage of their life that pukeko are most at risk.

Interestingly, adult pukeko have been observed displaying remarkable bravery when it comes to protecting their young. They are known to actively defend their offspring by attacking any potential threats that come too close. This includes not only other birds, but also larger predators such as cats and stoats.

Cats, being natural hunters, may view pukeko as potential prey. However, pukeko are not easy targets for them. I’ve personally witnessed pukeko standing their ground and even attacking cats that ventured too close to their nesting sites. It is truly impressive to see these birds fearlessly defending themselves and their young.

Similarly, stoats, which are small carnivorous mammals, may also pose a threat to pukeko. Stoats are agile hunters and can be quite stealthy in their approach. However, pukeko have been known to fight back against stoats, using their sharp beaks and strong legs to defend themselves. This behavior highlights the determination and resilience of pukeko when it comes to protecting their offspring.

While adult pukeko have few natural predators, their young are vulnerable to attacks from swamp harriers. However, adult pukeko are not to be underestimated when it comes to defending their offspring. They have been observed attacking and fighting off predators such as cats and stoats, displaying incredible bravery and tenacity. These behaviors are a testament to the strength and protective instincts of pukeko as a species.